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By Laura Stec

My Tomatoes Are Better Than Your Tomatoes

Uploaded: Aug 22, 2017

Hi from Michigan! I’m visiting Mom and she says hi. For dinner last night we had some Michigan tomatoes and corn and I have to say, and I’m not the only one to say it, those two vegetables ALWAYS taste better grown in Michigan vs. California. I was reminded last night, munching down on farmers market yummies and wondering, why, oh why?

I googled but couldn’t find anything.

Can any body out there can offer perspective to this culinary mystery? I bet there are a number of Michiganders turned Californians that whole-heartedly agree. Sorry California.

While we are waiting, here’s a quick seasonal condiment using those red ruby’s. It’s good a-top anything. Last week, at Cooking at the Market in Portola Valley, we served it over grilled tempeh.

Tomato, Olive, Pepper EZ Seasoning
combine whatever amounts you want but here's a start...

1 farmers market tomato
2 tablespoons green olives
2 Italian Calabrian peppers
5 or so fresh basil leaves
1 – 2 cloves garlic

Chop tomato, olive and pepper fine. I take out some of the pepper seeds.

Quick Quiz: What's the hottest part of the pepper? Answer below.

Stack the basil leaves and slice or chiffonade.

Mince garlic, sprinkle with a touch of salt, and smash it into the garlic using the side of your knife. Flatten out the garlic, making it into a paste. (this is always a good practice with garlic when you are not cooking it). Combine all ingredients and use on top of anything – grilled meats, tempeh, sauted vegetables, you name it!

NOTE: Calabrian peppers are pickled and offer a very unique taste. Find them jarred in the grocery store, possibly near the sundried tomatoes or other pickled products. The brand I buy at Bianchini’s in Portola Valley is Tutto Calabria.

- photo from the web

Hottest part of the pepper is the vein, not the seeds. It's the thing that connects the seeds to the pepper. Try it for yourself and go wow.